New Yorkers will soon be able to choose a gender-neutral 'X' on state forms
Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics that New York state residents will be able to write a gender-neutral "X" on nearly all state forms beginning in 2023. The change was included in the state budget that was adopted last weekend. The measure, along with new funding for anti-discrimination and anti-hate crimes programs, is meant to build on the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, to strengthen laws against discrimination in the workplace and housing. Some state agencies, including the Department of Labor, Office of Children and Family Services, Office of Temporary Disability Assistance and Division of Criminal Justice Services, will have until 2024 to make the gender-neutral "X" option available. If those agencies cannot meet the deadline, a public report is required explaining the delay. Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "The past two years have been hard for us all, but especially hard for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers who have always been forced to deal with levels of isolation due to homophobia and transphobia. That's why it's so important that our newly enacted budget presses forward in the fight for equality with historic levels of state funding and initiatives for LGBTQ+ equity." The spending plan includes $12.5 million for the state Division of Human Rights to strengthen anti-discrimination investigations and prosecution as well as a $3.7 million increase for education programs. Lawmakers also approved $25 million for grants directed to a program meant to combat hate crimes. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.